SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said a report that he was nearly shipped off to Cleveland was news to him.
The team denied the media report on Friday, and Harbaugh later told ESPN, "I know nothing about a trade with the Cleveland Browns and us, involving me."
The report, which created some sparks among the media at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, said the Browns and the University of Texas had both made inquiries about prying Harbaugh loose from San Francisco. CEO Jed York issued a statement denying the report, but NFL.com said the Browns were less adamant in their own written version of events.
"The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options," the statement said. "That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we're excited about his future with the club."
NFL.com proposed Saturday that a trade of sorts involving Harbaugh could make some sense for the Niners. Harbaugh's contract is winding down and the two parties have yet to agree on an extension.